Emerging from the dark tunnel, I find myself surprised by the well-kept town. Shaking my head as I walk over to a fence and lean against it just to take a moment before exploring and also ponder on whether I should risk being in a place where others may come as well. Always running and looking over my shoulder since escaping the ones that had kept me a prisoner for so long. Looking down sadly as I recall being taken from the butterfly-filled fields from my caretaker that had taken me in after my family and I had been separated during the Great Change ..... my eyes closing as I struggle to control the nightmare of pain, there had been so many changes and years till I was able to escape.
For years I had been kept locked either in a cage or a cell, cuffs locked about my wrists and ankles whenever I was taken out, shuddering at the memory of those times ....hearing not quite time and then given another shot that always made me feel odd before I was returned to the cell. Uncertainty and fear of the unknown were my biggest concerns at the time, I received food and water, never realizing one could be cold. Then one day I heard something different from the doctor whispered more softly, that for once I glanced up and begin to tremble as fear grips my chest by the look on their faces what did it mean 'She is ready to go, she can be trained now ', was it something to do with the shots and how they were making me feel odder each time ? I was handed my shift, but then the one man was slowly running his hand along my body as I try to pull back he grabbed the cuffs and fastened them in front of me holding me as he touched me wherever he wished, leaning down, whispering in my ear " Time for a trip kitty " laughing as he pulled me from the room. Mewing plaintively and stumbling now and again as I am led down different hallways and through locked doors till we emerge in a larger room with what seems to be vehicles and others like myself mewing and some crying as they are placed in a vehicle, just as I am lifted into the interior one of the other felines starts scratching and biting which leads to another doing the same.
My eyes widening in disbelief as I cringe back against the wall of the vehicle remembering the one time I had accidentally scratch one of the men and how I could not sit down without wincing for such a long time. I keep pressing back till I am nearly behind another feline trying to not get in the way as I close my eyes feeling another fall on me mewing in shock and surprise then hearing several smacks of a hand against flesh....peeking up through my hair to see the ones that had been fighting locked to the wall of the vehicle and others being locked down as well, but somehow I had escaped being fastened in such a way jumping a little as the door slams my eyes widening in shock as I see there is a handle on the inside. Quickly, an idea comes to mind, if not locked maybe I can jump out before we get to where we are going, already getting the feeling if I arrive at the destination, escaping may not be possible and that this is my one chance. Waiting a bit as the vehicle is set into motion finding it hard not to just try the door right off, but deciding to wait may be best for if it flies open too soon I will lose any chance of escaping. Finally, As I feel it slowing to go around a curve after some time I take a deep breath and open the door having it nearly ripped from my hand as we go around another turn, just barely holding on as I struggle to catch my balance I find myself slipping to the other side as another turn is taken biting my lip as not to cry out as I fall from the vehicle tumbling down a hillside whimpering as the pain flares along my hip and ribs but then rising up slowly as I look around shock that I had made it then mewing softly as I realize I have not the faintest clue where I am .
Wincing as I stand I look around in wonder as even the air feels different, tilting my head I look around finding myself on the edge of a small city, yet it seems so odd too. Remaining on the outskirts for a time as I try to find clothing and learn more about the city. Little by little as I find old newspapers and by overhearing bits of talk I learn that the world has been changed in a drastic way, the older gods and beings from myth and legend have returned to prove that they are indeed not a legend any longer and wreck havoc upon the world as e had known it. Ones such as myself are now able to walk about fully revealed, no longer needing to hide their real selves. Curious and also fearful of being found on the outside of the city I ponder entering but then realize I will need something to wear other than my shift and set about to put together an outfit that hopefully will help me blend in.
At first, I find myself wandering the streets at night, most are indoors though the few out and about the city, I can slip away from in the shadows as the fear of being caught and trapped in a cell is still overpowering the hope of finding others such as myself. Till one day I go into the city a bit before sundown and end up seeing quite a few people around ....including felines. I hide in the shadows watching all going on and hear of catnip being mentioned, licking my whiskers having had that as a treat now and again thinking perhaps I should maybe try and find her again when there are not so many around when she suddenly turns and looks in my direction. My eyes widen as I realize she has heard or scented my presence, as she rolls up to me on skates I can not help but look up hopefully mewing softly as I greet her.
During our conversation that eventually leads me to where the felines all have a home I can not help but look around in wonder as the moonlight room and nod that I would indeed like to stay here and that I would help out however I could, but like with most things that are conditions and I learn that we at times help out with trades with other factions in return for our safety, but we also are still free. I learn at times I may have to serve another however, they are not allowed to place me in a cage or keep me. Granted I am a bit nervous as things can change at times, but with the assurances of head feline that I will be safe I can not help but agreed as I then follow her to the shop where we also sell plants and herbs for others.....including catnip for ourselves.
As I walk in the fragrance and beauty of many of the plants are intense and a feast for the eyes, the smell of dirt and life assailing the senses in such a way that you feel almost instantly at home and relaxed. Walking around as I listen to each duty and asking about pricing I am told the list is under the register, the door opening as customers walk in so soon letting me know that the shop is quite busy as I begin to learn how to help others out and where everything is.
By the end of the night I pad a bit wearily back to the house I had been shown earlier and curl up on the pillows, the soft smooth fabric cradling me as I begin to doze off curling my tail about me unable to keep from softly purring having finally found a place I could perhaps relax a bit and not keep looking over my shoulder as often as the hunters could still be looking for me, but somehow they had not looked here so perhaps I would be safe ...for now.